Hallandale Beach Blog -A common-sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida, in particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach & Hollywood.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
There's just no getting rid of Lewy the Liar!
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. They also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums

Saturday, April 6, 2013

More tangible proof of how reluctant the news media in South Florida is to directly challenge Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and report negative news stories about her, even when there's lots of facts to back it up, including court documents. And, how desperate DWS was to have a new FL-23 that was loaded with as many Jewish voters as possible, regardless of what Broward voters actually wanted: Fair Districts

More tangible proof of how reluctant the news media in South Florida is to directly challenge Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and report negative news stories about her, even when there's lots of facts to back it up, including court documents.
Romo v. Scott court documents prove that my friends and I live in one of “the most gerrymandered congressional districts” in the U.S., FL-23, in large part because Rep.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz laughs privately at the high-minded rhetoric of and expressed angst of Fair Districts proponents, as well as the Florida League of Women Voters, Common Cause Florida and La Raza.

She's just smart enough not to laugh at them publicly where she can be caught on camera engaging in her hypocrisy.

Despite all the proof in the world that the South Florida news media is ignoring this court case up in Tallahassee, the actual facts of this case prove rather conclusively, as I have argued and previously written here over the past few years, that regardless of the sentiment of voters, DWS wanted an un-competitive and unfair Congressional District drawn up that was loaded with as many Jewish voters as possible.

For more on that, see my November 22, 2011 blog post titled, No Fair Districts here: Surprise! NAACP's proposed 2012 map keeps HB & Hollywood divided: Blacks given to Frederica Wilson, Jews to DWS; told ya!
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/no-fair-districts-here-surprise-naacps.html

She wanted that even if that meant intentionally dividing counties, towns or precincts rather than keeping them intact, as FairDistrictsFlorida.org and Good Govt. types publicly argued for in their public redistricting campaigns of 2011-2012 for Amendment 6, which passed overwhelmingly.

But DWS didn't care a whit about what the voters of Florida and Broward wanted, she wanted a congressional district that required little personal presence or high-maintenance.
A CD which would allow her to continue to remain a prominent National Democrat figure who could fly around the country giving speeches and raising money -and appearing on TV!- NOT be burdened by old-fashioned notions of public service or or even parochial concerns like re-election.


DWS wanted what she wanted and she wanted it badly, regardless of the fact that the overwhelming majority of voters in Florida, Broward County and her own district wanted Fair Districts with reasonable standards
Period.
Now we know how badly she wanted it.

To configure a fanciful map to her personal liking, one that ignored the interests of citizens wanting to NOT be divided by race or ethnicity or see their community's historical integrity
sub-divided, required her & consultants and allies "to scoop as many Jews out of Tamarac and Sunrise as they can” to quote emails of Democratic Party consultants that have been released
So that's exactly what DWS did, with the stealthy cooperation of other powerful Broward Democratic pols. 

So why is the South Florida news media ignoring this? 
And, the Florida League of Women Voters, its Broward chapter and Common Cause Florida
Why are they so quiet about having been played for suckers by DWS and her pals?


Washington Free Beacon
Gerrymanders Gone Wild
Dem congressmen oversaw Florida gerrymander, emails reveal 
By C.J. Ciaramella
April 5, 2013 3:29 pm

Florida Democrats coordinated with national party organizations and consultants in early 2012 to gerrymander congressional districts despite a state ban on such activities, emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.

The top state and national party leaders, including Florida congressmen Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutsch, and Alecee Hastings, signed off on the gerrymandered maps, according to the emails released during court discovery in Romo v. Scott, a legal challenge to redistricting maps that the GOP-controlled state legislature approved in 2012.
Read the rest of the article, complete with the damning emails at:

This bit of news closely followed three weeks later with something we'd first read at Sunshine State News on March 19th, below, which we found interesting enough to send its link it along to some friends around the state as a sign that there was much more here than first meets the eye.

Unfortunately and yet typically, the South Florida news media was doing their best to avoid reporting on, you know, like real facts from real emails that get to the heart of the matter.

But then you already know from what I've written here so many times previously, with specific examples, how the South Florida new media is cowed by DWS and will literally jump on a thrown hand-grenade for her, in order to stay on her good side, especially the reporters and management at the Sun-Sentinel.

Wasserman Schultz, Nan Rich, Rod Smith Tried to Gerrymander; Blamed GOP for Doing Same
By Eric Giunta
Posted: March 19, 2013 3:55 AM
Court documents obtained by Sunshine State News show that top Florida Democrats were involved in just the sort of activity they are accusing Republicans of: gerrymandering districts to increase their candidates' electoral prospects.
http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/debbie-wasserman-schultz-nan-rich-rod-smith-tried-gerrymander-blamed-gop-doing-same

Curiously, at least to me, Mary Ellen Klas of the Times/Herald, subject of this post
wrote on February 4th about the facts that had emerged thus far with the GOP's efforts to ensure more GOP districts within the Sunshine State,


Emails show legislative staff and RPOF talked about redistricting despite ban
Mary Ellen Klas, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
Monday, February 4, 2013 7:12pm
Florida’s legislative leaders appear to have authorized their staff to use private email accounts, secret “dropboxes” and to engage in “brainstorming meetings” with Republican Party of Florida consultants in attempting to draw favorable political districts, despite a constitutional ban on such coordination. 
The allegations arise from a lawsuit challenging the Senate and congressional redistricting that include emails showing how top deputies of Senate President Don Gaetz, House Speaker Will Weatherford and several of Gaetz’s consultants were in frequent contact with consultants who drafted and analyzed maps. Redistricting is done every 10 years to redraw boundaries of legislative and congresssional districts to ensure equal representation.
Read the rest of the post at:


But Klas has written nothing at all in the two intervening months about the more recent documents released that have proven so revealing about the facts and intentions of Democrats Nan Rich, Alcee Hastings, Ted Deutsch and DWS, even while the Miami Herald's Marc Caputo has.


Naked Politics blog
Miami Herald
Insider emails show FL Democrats wanted to gerrymander redistricting just like GOP
By Marc A. Caputo
March 5, 2013
Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/03/insider-emails-show-fl-democrats-tried-to-gerrymander-redistricting-just-like-gop.html##storylink=cpy
Florida Democrats plotted with top leaders and consultants to redraw congressional districts to benefit their party, according to new court records that show they were just as interested in gerrymandering as Republicans.
Democratic-leaning groups are challenging the new congressional maps in court, saying Republicans broke a state constitutional amendment by drawing districts that favored or disfavored political parties and incumbents.
Read the rest of the post at: 
http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/03/insider-emails-show-fl-democrats-tried-to-gerrymander-redistricting-just-like-gop.html#more

Why the disparity in coverage by Klaas?

Just so you know, I've spend some time researching and now can tell you how many original news stories on the facts involved in the Romo v. Scott court case have actually appeared in the news media of her Congressional District, and specifically what DWS did.
And by original, I mean something created or produced by the actual staff of those media organizations, not the Associated Press dispatches they throw on their websites that few readers or viewers ever see:

CBS-4, NBC6, Channel 7(Fox) and Channel 10 (ABC) or the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: ZERO.
Not just ZERO each, ZERO collectively.
Welcome to the not-so-curious world of the South Florida news media of 2013! 

Not so much watchdogs as lapdogs, esp. when it comes to DWS.

Since they aren't inclined towards doing any old-fashioned reporting on this subject, here's a good place to start:
http://redistricting.lls.edu/cases-FL.php#FL

As for FairDistrictsFlorida.org, whom I became very publicly disillusioned with last year after they completely failed to prepare to hold or co-host any sort of public forum in Broward County prior to visits by the traveling Florida Senate Redistricting Committee, you can see their comments here: http://www.fairdistrictsnow.org/home/
I no longer trust what they say -just like I don't trust anything said by DWS.

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Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch prospective story ideas. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and be sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.
____________________________________________
Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change.
If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."- Preacher Purl encouraging the underdog Hickory High basketball team before the state title game against heavily-favored South Bend Central in 1986's Hoosiers
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091217/
Audio of pregame speech:
_____________________________________________

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

Ordinary people can make a difference in fight against corruption in Broward County

The next time you hear someone in Broward County, like one of the usual "experts" or pundits or maybe a self-interested lobbyist like Joy Cooper's supercilious pal Judy Stern repeat the Conventional Wisdom that nobody really cares about ethical behavior, transparency and accountability in Broward cities, except a handful of people, just keep this in mind.
As of March 6, 2014 at 12:30 p.m., in the 84 weeks since I first wrote my October 15th 2012 post titled, "Ethics? Not for us! Follow-up to my post re Hallandale Beach's unethical "business as usual" attitude, with "special rules for special people" if they are named Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders; What ethics? What rules? @MayorCooper, @SandersHB" it's been viewed 183,914 times. That's MORE than TWO THOUSAND page views a week! Imagine that!
That total doesn't even include the number of people who saw it the day it was first posted, when it was the default post of the blog. That's a lot of people who now know a lot more facts about the truth regarding the corruption and incompetency that have been commonplace in Hallandale Beach all these years while Broward State's Attorney Mike Satz and his staff did NOTHING. Just saying...
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpted from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administrations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly. At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accommodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...

In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accommodated...

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect

Nice from a distance, not so nice once you're there and see the years of City Hall's neglect
The public beach that is "North Beach" in Hallandale Beach, FL. June 19, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

So this is where our tax dollars go to die?

"So this is where our tax dollars go to die? My friend and fellow civic activist Csaba Kulin, perhaps wondering when we're FINALLY going to get the clean and inviting public beach that Hallandale Beach residents believe we're entitled to but have never received under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew.
Instead, we get rusty pipes in the middle of the beach and garbage cans on the beach -without lids- at the windiest place in the entire city. And a public building across the street from the beach that the public can't use for free but which city employees can -for their holiday parties." Click photo to see many more photos of the site and the original post, or http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/latest-info-photos-re-related-groups.html; 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Just as true now as it was when it was written in June 2012!

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line
Looking south towards The Beach Club and the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A from the beach, near the Hollywood cityline, May 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Looking east  on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd., over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway bridge, toward the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower and the three condo towers comprising The Beach Club. September 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive. Located below the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive, on the south side (right) is the "Community Center" that HB City Hall, thru their gross incompetency, has made impossible for HB citizen taxpayers to use now for 41 MONTHS as of January 2011. (And where's the American flag on the Fourth of July weekend? Missing in action as it had been for months!) July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach

Looking towards southern Hollywood Beach
Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, Westin Diplomat, Crowne Resort. Looking NE towards Hollywood on State Road A1A from the 2500 block of East Hallandale Beach Blvd./State Road 858 just before crossing the Intracoastal Bridge: (l-r) Trump Hollywood, Diplomat Residences, the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach. March 25, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers
The Beach Club. Looking SE at The Beach Club from the Hollywood side of State Road A1A. May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL
City of Hollywood City Hall. An early morning shot of the east side of Hollywood City Hall the morning of the Johnson Street Redevelopment RFP Evaluation Committee meeting, where presentations were heard; October 14, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. For more info on what's going on with this important project, see http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/JohnsonStBeachRFP.htm

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is

Corruption Isn't Unique to South Florida, It's the Level of the Stupidity That Is
"[Chicago Mayor] William Hale Thompson was defeated Tuesday after a campaign which he alone made disgraceful. The election was an ejection, a dirty job, but Chicago has washed itself and put on clean clothes. Thompson recognized the [Chicago] Tribune as his chief enemy. The Tribune was glad to earn that opinion. It certainly tried to do so. It has taken the fight to him on every occasion during the long and depraved course of his administration. It is unpleasant business to eject a skunk, but someone has to do it. For Chicago, Thompson has meant filth, corruption, obscenity, idiocy and bankruptcy. He has given the city an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, barbaric crime, triumphant hoodlumism, unchecked graft and a dejected citizenship. He nearly ruined the property and completely destroyed the pride of the city. He made Chicago a byword for the collapse of American civilization. In his attempt to continue this he excelled himself as a liar and defamer of character. He’s out. He is not only out, but dishonored. He is deserted by his friends. He is permanently marked by the evidences of his character and conduct. His health is impaired by his ways of life and he leaves office and goes from the city the most discredited man who ever held place in it."

-Excerpts from April 1931 Chicago Tribune editorial following Republican "Big Bill" Thompson's loss to his Democratic rival Anton Cermak. A friend of organized crime during the Al Capone era, Thompson was the last Republican elected mayor of Chicago. But less than two years later, Mayor Cermak was shot while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Miami's Bayfront Park. He died from gunshot wounds to his lungs three weeks later.

See
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3686.html

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl

Championship banners

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.
Perhaps you'll enjoy this view more!

We Are IU (Official Version) 2013

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

Here's the first banner of the Crean Era

Our five NCAA Basketball Championship banners are on the north side of the court; I was there for 1981's.
H/T Hannah Ongley @hannahongley http://instagram.com/youdidnoteatthat